3 y/o with GBS after flu? Please help!

    • Anonymous
      January 24, 2013 at 1:22 am

      Hi, I am writing in hopes that your collective experiences and knowledge may help me figure out what is really going on with my 3 year old daughter. GBS was one of the things our pediatrician mentioned at our most recent visit (yesterday). After reading about it constantly since yesterday afternoon it sounds a lot like what she is experiencing. Your input and thoughts are so appreciated.

      She started with a cold about 2 weeks ago. She has been so healthy in her 3 years, so this was the sickest she has ever been. It could have been the flu, but a mild case (and she had the flu shot in Dec). She was starting to get better last Friday, but then over the weekend she started to get sick again. By Monday she was vomiting – couldn’t keep anything down, even liquids. Her fever went up to 103.9 F. It responded well to the Children’s Tylenol we gave her. The next morning one vomit. She was on liquids, crackers, etc. She was very tired but much better. Our whole household is sick and after being cooped up in the house, yesterday we made the decision to run some errands with the kids so we could all get some sunshine and fresh air. Four times during the very short outing my daughter did this thing with her legs, like her leg muscles were tightening up or cramping up, and she could not walk. The first time it took us all by surprise and she actually fell to the ground. She was completely freaked out by it each time. So we drove her straight to the pediatrician since we were right down the street. At the pediatrician she had two more episodes, one in front of the nurse and one in front of the doctor. The doctor was a little perplexed so she consulted with one of the other docs in the practice. They threw a few things around but ultimately they decided she’s just exhausted from her cold/vomiting. I’m ‘ok’ with that (and believe me, I hope it is just that) but before the decision was made, they suggested Toxic Synovitis, Myositis, an electrolyte imbalance (from vomiting) and Guillain-Barre. Naturally, I googled all of them and the electrolyte imbalance and GBS seems to fit (GBS more so). Today she had a pretty decent day, she started to eat very lightly and did not have a fever. Out of the blue this evening she vomited again. I called the pediatrician’s on-call # (as they told me to do if anything got worse) and they just told me to take away all foods again and start her teaspoons of liquids again. I’m not completely satisfied with this response, which is why I’m here. Does this sound like any of your experiences with GBS, specifically in young children? I read that the problems with walking generally get worse over a week or two. She hasn’t had an episode since last night.


    • January 24, 2013 at 2:22 am

      Hi there –

      I certainly understand your concern. My daughter was 4 when she was diagnosed with GBS & it was later changed to CIDP.  Her symptoms progressed over a few months time. It started with pain & numbness in her feet & legs & later progressed to muscle weakness. I know it can be really scary to think something serious is wrong with your child & it doesn’t help if you are not satisfied with what the dr is telling you to do.

      I have a few thoughts for you…

      1) My first thought was your daughter could be dehydrated from vomiting & running such a high temp.  What color is your daughter’s urine?  Are her eyes sunken in? Does her skin bounce back when pinched into a fold? If she cries does she produce tears? Does she have a dry mouth or lips?

      2) If the dr’s consensus was that she is dehydrated then the dr should have her admitted into the hospital to receive IV fluids, or IV fluids should have been given at an urgent care or other outpatient facility, especially since she is so young.  (A few years ago my husband had a terrible stomach flu. He broke out in a rash & had muscle pain & weakness. I took him to urgent care & they determined he was extremely dehydrated. They ended up giving him 2 bags of IV fluids & he felt much better afterward.)

      3) While she is in the hospital, if the dr was serious about the possible GBS diagnosis, he/she could order  further testing such as an EMG/NCV, MRI of the brain & spine with & without contrast & a spinal tap to check for high protein levels in the spinal fluid.  Honestly, if GBS is suspected (especially in a young patient) hospitalization should be considered immediately.

      I would suggest calling the dr back & expressing your concerns. I hope your daughter feels better soon!


    • January 28, 2013 at 6:16 am

      Did she have any reflexes when the doctor checked her.  My husband came down with gbs after the flu.  But, it was about 20 days after.  Which was what many articles mentioned.